October 28, 2015
We like forgiveness when we need it. It is a bit more difficult to give forgiveness when we have been hurt. Jesus instructs that we are to forgive when someone repents. We forgive even if someone sins against us multiple times. Jesus doesn’t give exceptions to the instruction. He doesn’t give permission to skip forgiveness. If a person asks us to forgive suggesting that they are sorry and are repenting, Jesus says to forgive. To forgive means to let people off the hook. It means to refuse to seek revenge or to get even. Forgiveness means no longer harboring bitterness or a grudge. Such is not easy. When we have been hurt, at the very least we want the person who hurt us to know and understand the depth of the hurt we have experienced. The person who hurt us needs to suffer for what was done. This is the challenging part of forgiveness. We do not demand punishment, but we extend mercy. Is it no wonder that the disciples begged Jesus to show them how to increase their faith? After all, forgiveness requires much faith. We trust that God sees what was done. He understands the depth of our hurt. He will give strength to forgive. Forgiveness isn’t easy but we know what it means to have received it.